Zhongxing Micro Finance Deploys Vormetric Encryption for Internal and External Protection
Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE Corporation) is a global provider of communications equipment and network solutions. ZTE is a leader in technology innovation, delivering superior products and business solutions to clients all over the world. Founded in 1985, the company now has more than 65,000 employees located in 160 countries. ZTE is listed on both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, and is China’s largest listed telecom equipment company.
Zhongxing Micro Finance, a ZTE subsidiary, offers modest-sized, short-term loans at very competitive interest rates. Targeting small business owners and consumers, the majority of business is conducted online. Zhongxing Micro Finance’s objective is to extend financial services and broaden access to funds throughout China.
As with any Internet-related undertaking, security is always a major point of consideration, especially when it involves sensitive personal information. Peter Chen, CTO for Zhongxing Micro Finance, emphasized, “Keeping client data secure is a critical matter for us. We can’t afford to have customer information compromised and we don’t want to see any damage to our own, or ZTE’s, outstanding reputations in the industry.”
Hacking from outside a company is always a concern for any business but recent studies have shown that insider threats are becoming a significant issue. “We wanted to identify a way to prevent our staff from being in a position where they either accidentally or maliciously could put us at risk,” commented Chen. “Our IT staff had almost unlimited access, including data in motion and at rest. Whatever solution we deployed had to have the flexibility to accommodate information in any state and any location across the whole infrastructure.”
He continued, “Another challenge was how to transfer sensitive client-related data between our different systems and applications without making it vulnerable or susceptible to compromise.”
Zhongxing Micro Finance handles a lot of unstructured data in the form of text-based forms, scanned images, and other financial records. “Unstructured data represents the most common format of information that we have and it was imperative that any solution could handle a wide variety of information,” said Chen.
Chen recalled, “We evaluated a lot of different options and decided that encryption was the best approach to address our needs. We initially investigated several encryption solution suppliers but were unable to find a something that worked well in our environment.
“Feeling like we might have to make a compromise from our original requirements, we were delighted when one of our Internet security advisors recommended that we investigate Vormetric: Vormetric Transparent Encryption was exactly what we were looking for!”
One of the big advantages of the Vormetric solution was ease of implementation: “Some of the encryption providers we considered estimated that it could take several months to encrypt all of our data. With Vormetric we were able to get everything done in two or three hours; this saved the company a lot of resources and enabled us to minimize the amount of time that we were without the enhanced level of protection,” said Chen.
Zhongxing Micro Finance has a layered approach to data security: “It’s impossible for a single solution to cover all aspects of security, so we rely on a number of measures to protect our information.” stated Chen. “However, inevitably there are gaps and Vormetric is able to fill in all the holes left by our other, more traditional defenses.”
Despite encrypting all of the data, users have not noticed any change in response times. “The speed of Vormetric encryption is a great advantage for us and another one of the critical reasons that we made the choice,” stated Chen. “The solution has been very stable and we use it to protect all of our sensitive data, irrespective of the format, location, or state.
“With Vormetric Transparent Encryption we’ve been able to address one of my biggest concerns, that of insider threats. Now we’re able to ensure that even privileged users, like our system administrators, can’t access data in a way that could lead to compromise. Even if someone does actually manage to get to a file or even save it on a USB memory stick, there’s absolutely nothing they can do with the contents.“
He summarized, “Ensuring the integrity of client information is critically important to our company: Vormetric enables us to secure our clients’ data with the best encryption solution we know of.”